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Tenhi - Maašet CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.06 | 43 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Vampire Music for Gothic Indulgence

Following the proverbial rabbit hole, I discovered Tenhi through similar artists and albums going from Opeth's Damnation and then Borknagar's Origin. This led me to the sub-genre of neofolk, a meld of elements from black metal, post-rock, and Northern European folk. Tenhi is one of the standard bearers of the style. Blending acoustic instrumentation, freezing cold atmospheres, croaking vocals blended with airy harmonies, and rhythmic structures ranging from free form ambient to complex time signatures, the band creates wintry soundscapes that seem deceptively simple. Certainly, if you have no interest in anything resembling Goth, you'll never get through the ice to appreciate the nuance here.

The vocals are in Finnish. The music is more new-agey than metal and in the connection with black metal is really only in mood and theme. This is atmospheric music, more suitable for meditation than analysis. That said, there is a nice variety of rhythm and color within this album. (Others have criticized earlier albums for being a little too homogenous.) Complex times come up surprisingly often, with a few quicker pieces mixed in with mid-tempo chants and slow dirges.

If you like Goth music, this is a treasure chest, maybe one of the best. Low minor vocal harmonies, behind the beat marches, chilly guitars underlying strings and woodwinds; this is a very organic music. The tonalities often are exotic. The vocals are dripping with sadness. Though in minor key, melody is strong here, giving the songs identity, and the album a sense of development. The playing is both emotive and skilled, though never flamboyant.

As an expansion of folk music, or simply as an expression of goth aesthetic, this is an excellent disc. Its target audience is a bit narrow, and I would definitely sample first. But if you like the general flavor of what you hear, by all means jump in. This is a very nice work.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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